12.27.2007

I'm sitting in the airport I hate above all others, with a passion that burns with the fury of a million fiery suns.

But I did confirm my first class upgrade for my flight to EWR so I am going to be full of drink and sandwich and not rubbing elbows with the overweight mother (who's brother actually had the gaul to ask me to switch to a middle seat three rows back so that he could have my aisle bulkhead one, yeah right pal) and her infant child who throws his food on me for a couple of hours. The flight from Sacto was fun.

My flight is delayed, because no flight, from any airline, between ORD and EWR has ever, EVER departed and/or arrived on time. Its one of the select few routes in the world (I kid not) that is routinely scheduled to take about a half an hour longer than it does in reality, because the powers that be have come to accept the fact that this route will never fly on time. But United gets the closest, which I have proven through long and painful empirical investigation.

I will concede this airport one commendation - they have about 10 available power sockets scattered throughout an airport of a couple hundred gates that see many thousand people a day. So, if you are smart, and you know how to beat all of those people, and you don't mind sitting on the floor, you might just be blogging from a laptop that's actually being charged while you type, so that you can work on email on the flight. If you're not busy eating and drinking on it.

The traffic to this airport, from anywhere, is some of the worst on the planet. That doesn't have to do expressly with the airport itself, but its close enough to be added to the list. The rental car facilities (which, thank God I did not have to deal with today, as I am only connecting through hell on this trip), are pretty much on the other side of the city from the airport. They cart you back and forth in buses that run on no discernable schedule or for that matter any regular route. They just kind of randomly show up at random terminals. At random times.

The terminals are conveniently located about 3 miles apart from each other, for no apparent reason. Thankfully, however, there is no convenient transportation assistance offered beyond the endless underground tunnels which have been donned with a neon light show to make you forget temporarily that you want to claw your eyeballs out. And the people-mover (you know, the flat escalator type thing) on the left hand side between terminals B and C has been broken for the better part of 5 years now. The pallet of spare parts they keep near the wall at the end is collecting dust. More every week.

Here's what really bites me though: I actually can tell by the turns the plane makes from the gate whether or not we are headed to a runway or to a holding pad. I don't even need to listen to the ATC channel or look outside to see where we are going. I can feel it in the plane's movements.

These are the terrible things you come to know when you travel for work.

I hate O'hare.

2 comments:

Tim said...

Amen, bro. My favorite part about the ORD / United game of Russian Roulette is that when connecting through, I usually land at gate B20-ish and need to get to C-30ish. Making my connection requires that I break all sorts of land-speed records due to the consistent inconsistency of ontime arrivals...BOS-ORD isn't much better than EWR-ORD. So I take up the ambitious challenge of actually making my connection, only to be foiled by the people who actually stand still on the people movers and escalators in the B-C Technicolor Tunnel. Really, why walk or climb the stairs when machines can do the work for you? This concludes observation number 24,342 of America's Obesity Epidemic.

thesciencegirl said...

This is why I stick to Midway if at all possible. I have never flown out of O'Hare and NOT been delayed.